Born: August 15, 1945
Died: April 30, 2015 (at age 69)
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Nigel Terry (15 August 1945 - 30 April 2015) was a British stage and film actor probably best known by film audiences for his portrayal of King Arthur in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981). Terry primarily dedicated himself to the classical stage. When he extended himself into film and TV outings, it was mostly for historical or period roles.Terry was born on 15 August 1945 in Bristol, the son of Frank Albert Terry OBE, DFC, a pilot in the Royal Air Force, and his wife, Doreen. He was the first baby born in Bristol after the end of World War II. The family soon moved to Truro, Cornwall where his father worked as a probation officer. 'Nigs' attended Truro School in Truro, where he developed an interest in acting and became skilled at drawing and painting.
His parents encouraged him to go on the stage and after working briefly in forestry and as a petrol pump attendant he joined the National Youth Theatre. In 1963 he enrolled at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, working both on stage and behind the scenes. He joined the Oxford Meadow Players in 1966, working initially as assistant stage manager.
After training with repertory companies like the Oxford Meadow Players and Bristol Old Vic, Terry appeared in many productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Round House Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre. Among his roles was Bosola in the 1989 Royal Shakespeare Company production of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. The same year, he played Pericles in David Thacker's production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
In addition to Excalibur, he appeared in about 20 films, most notably The Lion in Winter in 1968 with Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole and Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Derek Jarman's Caravaggio in 1986, wherein he played the title character. Terry also appeared in Troy in 2004 playing the Trojan high priest.
An early television appearance was as the agoraphobic Harry Mandrake in the Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episode "Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave" (1970).
His main US and British television appearances include Covington Cross, a series set in medieval times. He also appeared in Casualty as Denny, as General Cobb in the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Daughter" and as Gabriel Piton in Highlander: The Series. He also played Sam Jacobs in a two-part Waking the Dead episode called "Anger Management". "Pie in the Sky" Series 3 episode 23 'Irish Stew' as Byron de Grasse.
After thirty years of living in London he returned to reside in Cornwall in 1993.
He died in Newquay, Cornwall of emphysema on 30 April 2015. In the absence of any surviving close family, his 'final act' was organized by his close friends Maggie Steed and David Horovitch in Truro on 19 May 2015, attended by fellow actors and personal friends.